Current Weather
The Spy FM

The Egg Makes Its Move In A New Version Of Which Came First: The Chicken Or the Egg?

Filed by KOSU News in Science.
February 11, 2013

Which came first? I just bumped into a new take on this old puzzler.

Everybody knows you need a chicken to lay an egg. Everybody knows you need an egg to produce a chicken. What nobody knows is how the cycle started. Once upon a time, did Heaven create a first-of-its-kind egg, or a first-of-its-kind chicken? (Or to put the question in a more sciencey way, did a new, different egg make a sudden appearance? Or did it start with new and different chicken?)

This, of course, is a slippery question. But in this new video from AsapSCIENCE, instead of getting all philosophical, Mitchell Moffit gets cleverly technical.

He asks, “Is a chicken egg one laid by a chicken or only one that simply contains a chicken?”

Yes, I had to read this a few times to make sense of it. What he’s saying is, a long, long, time ago, an animal looking a lot like a chicken (It was genetically very, very close, but not quite there; we’ll call it a “proto-chicken.”) laid an egg. An animal resembling rooster had fertilized that egg, but when dad’s genes and mom’s genes fused, they combined in a new way, creating a mutation that accidently made the baby different from its parents. While it would take thousands of years and generations to notice the difference, that egg was different enough to become the pioneer of a new species, an animal we now call … A Chicken. So if we look at that first egg, created by accident from two almost-chickens — couldn’t we say it all started with a new and different egg?

So it’s the egg! The egg came first? No?

Now you are ready to watch the video …

AsapSCIENCE is the brainchild of Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown, two former University of Guelph classmates from Ontario who regularly produce three minute videos answering questions that normal people with no science training ask themselves while staring out windows on long train trips.You can find their YouTube channel here. [Copyright 2013 NPR]

Leave a Reply

2PM to 3PM The Dinner Party

The Dinner Party

Think NPR meets Vanity Fair. In each episode, hosts Rico Gagliano & Brendan Francis Newnam talk with some of the world's most interesting celebrities, and along the way equip you with bad jokes, fresh drink recipes, hot food finds, odd news stories... and etiquette tips from the likes of Henry Rollins and Dick Cavett. It's all you need to get an edge in your weekend conversations. Past guests include Michelle Williams, Judd Apatow, Kid Cudi and Sir Richard Branson. Wallpaper magazine calls The Dinner Party one of the Top 40 Reasons To Live In The USA.

Listen Live Now!

3PM to 4PM The Splendid Table

The Splendid Table

Hosted by award-winning Lynne Rossetto Kasper, The Splendid Table is a culinary, culture and lifestyle program that celebrates food and its ability to touch the lives and feed the souls of everyone.

View the program guide!

4PM to 5PM Weekend All Things Considered

Weekend All Things Considered

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center